I am a student pilot, and I soloed about one month after my 16th birthday. I know I can't become a private pilot until I am 17, but I'm wondering if there is a way to take the check ride before you are 17, but be limited to the privileges of a student pilot until you are 17, at which point you can exercise the privileges of a private pilot? I doubt it, but its worth asking. I feel like I am pretty much ready to take the check ride, but I have to wait 8 more months. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


14 CFR Part 61.39 (a)(5) states that you can not take a checkride in the US until you are of age to hold the desired certificate.

(5) Meet the prescribed age requirement of this part for the issuance of the certificate or rating sought;

Sorry. I encourage you to take as many mock-checkrides as possible in the meantime.

Also, in addition to mock-checkrides. You can train for your instrument rating. 14 CFR Part 61.65 allows you to take a combined checkride or even back-to-back private and instrument checkrides.

§61.65 Instrument rating requirements. (a) General. A person who applies for an instrument rating must:

(1) Hold at least a current private pilot certificate, or be concurrently applying for a private pilot certificate, with an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift rating appropriate to the instrument rating sought;

  • $\begingroup$ thank you so much for your response @DeanF. That is really helpful, I never considered the possibility of combining private and instrument training. How would that work, because don't you need a minimum of 50 hours of cross-country flight as a private pilot in addition to the required instrument training in order to take the instrument check ride? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 21:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @GeckoFox1001 - 14 CFR Part 61.65 (g) goes on to say (g) An applicant for a combined private pilot certificate with an instrument rating may satisfy the cross-country flight time requirements of this section by crediting: (1) For an instrument-airplane rating or an instrument-powered-lift rating, up to 45 hours of cross-country flight time performing the duties of pilot in command with an authorized instructor; or $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Commented Feb 15, 2021 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ So just to make sure I understand, 45 of the required 50 hours of cross country pic time can be fulfilled by dual training that is not cross country? Since I already have around 45 hours of dual training and 5 hours of solo cross country, does that mean all I have to do is take the instrument written and do 40 hours of instrument training to take the combined checkride? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 1:35
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    $\begingroup$ @GeckoFox1001 No, those 45 hours have to be dual xc. And talk with someone who has done a combined check ride before you consider going down that road. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ @GeckoFox1001 - 61,65(g) only allows you to substitute an hour of dual cross country flight time performing the duties of PIC while not a certificated pilot for each hour of cross-country PIC flight time when certificate up to 45 hours. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 6:32

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